Social Security Disability Frequently Asked Questions

SSD Claims App

Q. What are Social Security Disability benefits?

A. Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) is an insurance program funded by social security taxes. They are benefits for disabled people who have worked and paid taxes into the social security system.

Q. What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

A. SSI is a needs-based program and benefits are available to disabled people who have not worked enough to be eligible for SSD and have limited income and resources.

Q. Are you eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

  • You must have a sever impairment that is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months, and
  • You must be unemployed, and
  • You must meet the earnings requirements at the time you became disabled.

Q. When should you apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

A. Apply as soon as you and your doctors agree that your disability is going to last a full year or if you have been off work for several months.

Q. How do you apply for benefits?

A. There are three ways to apply for SSD benefits:

  1. In person, at the social security office
  2. Online at the social security administration website:
  3. By phone at 800-772-1213

Q. What information do you need to apply for benefits?

A. During the initial application stage, you will be required to provide the following, but not limited to:

  • Personal and family information
  • Military service records
  • Work history
  • Detailed medical records, includes doctor visits and exams, diagnosis, treatments, medications, etc.
  • Financial/tax information

Q. I have just applied for Social Security Disability benefits. When can I expect my formal interview with Social Security?

A. There is no “face to face” at the initial application stage. Your first opportunity to explain in person to someone what’s wrong with you is at the Administrative Law Judge hearing, second appeal, which is why it is the most crucial stage.

Q. What factors does social security consider when reaching a decision?

  • Medical condition severity
  • Age
  • Education
  • Work history and prior skills

Q. When can I hire someone to represent me?

A. You can hire a representative at any stage of the proceeding.

Q. How are attorneys paid in a Social Security case?

A. A fee for a lawyer is 25% of the past-due benefits capped at $6,000.

Q. Do represented people do better than unrepresented people?

A. Almost always. You will need an attorney to obtain medical records, prepare for your hearing and argue your case to the judge.

Mark Newman will represent you on a contingent fee basis, which means we are not entitled to attorney fees unless you are awarded disability benefits.


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